Appliqué is a technique that involves attaching a piece of fabric to another using stitches. It is a traditional method that has been used for centuries to embellish and decorate clothing, household items, and accessories. Appliqué can be used to add color, texture, and personalization to any fabric surface. In this article, we will explore the different types of appliqué, techniques used, and some creative ways to use it.

Types of Appliqué

There are several types of appliqué, and each has its unique characteristics. Here are a few popular types of appliqué:

Raw edge appliqué

This technique involves attaching the fabric to the base layer by stitching close to the edge of the fabric. The raw edges are left exposed and give a layered effect. This technique is best suited for modern and contemporary designs.

Turned edge appliqué

This method involves folding the edges of the fabric under and stitching it to the base layer. This technique gives a clean and crisp finish and is ideal for intricate and detailed designs.

Fusible appliqué

This involves using fusible webbing to adhere the fabric to the base layer. It is a quick and easy method but is not ideal for intricate designs as the fusible web can make the fabric stiff.

Techniques of Appliqué

There are several techniques used in appliqué. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Hand appliqué

This involves stitching the fabric to the base layer by hand. It requires patience and precision but can give a beautiful finish.

Machine appliqué

This technique involves using a sewing machine to stitch the fabric to the base layer. It is quicker than hand appliqué but requires some skill and practice.

Reverse appliqué

This method involves stitching the top layer of fabric onto the base fabric and then cutting away the top layer to reveal the layer underneath. This technique can be used to create intricate designs and is best suited for woven fabrics.

Creative Ways to Use Appliqué

Appliqué can be used in several creative ways. Here are some ideas to get you started:


Appliqué can be used to add color and texture to clothing. You could add a floral appliqué to a plain t-shirt or a geometric design to a denim jacket.

Home Decor

Appliqué can be used to add a personal touch to home decor items like cushion covers, table runners or even lampshades.

Bags and Accessories

Appliqué can be used to personalize bags and accessories like tote bags, purses, and even shoes. You could add a monogram or a fun design to make it unique.


Appliqué is a versatile technique that can be used to add flair to any fabric surface. There are several types of appliqué and techniques used, and the possibilities are endless. So next time you want to add a personal touch to your fabric project, try using appliqué.

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